Treasure Hunt Codes

Hidden messages that must be decoded or interpreted.

These ideas give ways to encode clues rather than providing encoded clues, so that you can build your treasure hunt as you like.

physical not physical outside only outside or indoors
physical clue not physical clue outside only clue outdoors or indoors clue

difficulty min number of people physical location
Alphabet Substitution

Codes written in numbers, where each number represents a letter e.g. 1=a, 2=b...

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Anagram

The location of the next clue is an anagram.

[any difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
anyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Combination Locks

A combination lock gives the next clue by using digits found on other clues

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Encryption

The location of the next clue is encrypted with letter replacement.

[any difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
anyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Flag Signals

Hunters are given a clue spelt out with maritime flag signals.

[medium difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
mediumanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Foreign Language

The location of the next clue is written in a foreign language.

[medium difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
mediumanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Invisible Black Light Writing

Use a special pen to write a clue that can only be read with a "black light".

[easy difficulty, 1 people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easy1not physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Invisible Lemon Juice Ink Writing

A clue is writting in lemon juice, which can only be read by gently warming the paper it is written on.

[easy difficulty, 1 people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easy1not physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Jigsaw Puzzle

The next clue is written down and cut up to form a jigsaw puzzle.

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Letters In A Maze

The letters on the correct path through the maze spell out the location of the next clue.

[easy difficulty, 1 people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easy1not physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Letters With Transparent Overlay

A grid of random letters hides a clue, which is revealed by correctly positioning a transparent sheet over the top.

[any difficulty, 1 people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
any1not physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Miming Letters

Messages are mimed one letter at a time from one person to another.

[medium difficulty, 2+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
medium2+not physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Mirrored Lettering

The location of the next clue converted into mirrored text.

Convert the location of the next clue into mirrored text so that it can only be read by reflecting the text in a mirror.

The easiest way to create the clue is to write it in front of a mirror, looking into the mirror whilst writing.

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Morse Code

The location of the next clue converted into morse code.

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Picture Codes

Clues are converted into pictures, where each word is a drawing.

[any difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
anyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
QR Codes

A secret message is coded into an image which can be read by (most) smartphones.

[medium difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
mediumanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Quotes

Treasure hunters are given a quote from a book or DVD, in which the next clue is hidden.

[any difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
anyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Riddles

A riddle leads to the next clue, or must be answered by the treasure hunters to earn their next clue.

[any difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
anyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Spelling Errors

Deliberate spelling mistakes in the clue's text hide the location of the next clue.

[hard difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
hardanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Wingdings

The location of the next clue is converted into the symbols using the Wingdings font.

[medium difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
mediumanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue
Word Search

A clue is hidden in a word search by using the word search's leftover letters.

[easy difficulty, 1+ people, non physical, indoor or outdoor]
easyanynot physical clueoutdoors or indoors clue